Far more than just a sum of its famous moments – the dueling banjos, “Squeal like a pig!” – John Boorman’s urbanoia classic, adapted by James Dickey from his own novel, is one of the most shocking and lasting films of its era.
Beautiful and savage in equal measure, it pits ill-prepared city boys Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight (Boorman wanted Lee Marvin and Brando) against backwater brutes on an ill-fated canoe trip.
But it may as well be Old Hollywood (movie stars, heroes, machismo) against New (moral murk, transgressive sex, graphic violence).
Needless to say, there are no winners.
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